Commissary (store)

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A commissary at the Scotts Run coal mining camp, 1938, near Morgantown, West Virginia
Commissary for sharecroppers, on display at the Louisiana State Cotton Museum

A commissary is a store for provisions. The United States Defense Commissary Agency operates commissaries that are similar to supermarkets, providing service members with most of the same products available in the United States regardless of where they are stationed abroad. Commissaries sell primarily grocery articles; other items can be purchased at a base exchange (BX) or post exchange (PX).[citation needed]


Military commissaries serve to provide discounted groceries and household goods to many members within the Department of Defense regardless of which country they are located in. Eligible patrons include active-duty personnel in all services, retirees of all services, Guard and Reserve personnel, and immediate family members of service personnel.[1] Beyond providing members with discounted pricing, commissaries also provide employment for many family members of service personnel.[1] This is especially significant in overseas locations where acquiring a job could prove difficult for U.S. citizens.


A commissary offers food and household items sold at cost plus five percent surcharge, eliminating sales tax.[2] The average shopper can save more than 30 percent when compared to shopping in town.[2] During the commissary customer appreciation case lot sale, an average saving of 50 percent or more are available. These benefits extend to online shopping as well. They also offer rewards cards that allow shoppers to add additional promotions, coupons, and discount savings.[2] Shoppers can also enter many commissary contests, sweepstakes, and shopping sprees.[2] Commissaries also offer gift cards and contribute to academic scholarships.[2]


A prison commissary is often present in prisons.[3][failed verification] There are also commissaries at some duty stations of the United Nations,[citation needed] and on filming locations.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Commissary History | Commissaries". Retrieved 2019-06-13.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Commissary & Exchange | Benefits". Retrieved 2019-06-12.
  3. ^ "Definition of COMMISSARY". Retrieved 2019-04-11.